Day Nine Notebook: Big Plays Carry Scrimmage-Heavy Friday
Big Plays On Both Sides Of Ball Abound On Last Practice Before Spring Break
DENTON — The Mean Green football team were again in Apogee Stadium to wrap the third week of spring practice and big plays carried the day on a scrimmage-heavy morning in Denton.
Friday's practice was very high-energy, opening with several special teams drills, including a game simulation for the kickers, and finishing out with a variety of situations in a scrimmage setting. Both sides of the ball had their moments, with some big scoring plays by the offense and key third and fourth down stops by the defense.
The kicking game was a bright spot as well on a windy Friday at Apogee. Graduate transfer Cole Hedlund (Argyle) made all six of his game-simulated attempts at the start of practice, converting on kicks ranging from 35-48 yards. He and redshirt junior Alvin Kenworthy (Rowlett) also each made kicks from 50 yards during the scrimmage period.
* Redshirt freshman WR Greg White (Riverdale, Georgia) had a big day for the offense, making several catches and converting for quite a few first downs. He also hauled in a pair of touchdown grabs, both from junior QB Mason Fine (Locust Grove, Oklahoma). He scored from roughly 20 yards out early in the period, making the reception at the 10 and working his way toward the left sideline before successfully diving toward the pylon for the touchdown. He also made a difficult catch on a fade route from the two yard line that sent the offensive sideline into delirium.
* Redshirt freshman LB Kody Fulp (China Spring, Texas) made a couple of big hits, stuffing the run for minmal gains on a couple of occasions.
* Sophomore RB DeAndre Torrey fought hard through a tackle to pick up a first down on third-and-four for some much-needed yardage to help set up a score.
* Junior college transfer Tuulau Saafi (Euless, Texas) busted through the line on a fourth-and-seven play inside the 40.
* The defense made another fourth-and-short stop on the following possession when sophomore nickel Tyreke Davis (Denton) came up with a fantastic open-field tackle on Torrey.
* With the offense backed up inside its own five, sophomore DL Dion Novil (Abilene) stacked up the running back, who was able to just get out of his own end zone to force a fourth down.
* Sophomore WR Jaelon Darden (Houston) showcased his elusiveness on multiple occasions, catching some shorter passes and shaking his defender to pick up a few first downs.
* Fine connected with redshirt sophomore WR Keegan Brewer (Corinth) on a 41-yard touchdown pass, where Brewer stretched out to haul it in.
* Redshirt junior Loren Easly (Houston) had a big day as well that was punctuated with a 70-plus yard touchdown run that included one shifty move on a linebacker and then breakaway speed all the way to the end zone. Easly also had a strong red zone drive where he carried four times and scored a touchdown from four yards out. The most eye-catching play on that drive was a 13-yard gain where he twice threw would-be tacklers down. His ability to pick up yards after initial contact were in full view on that drive.
* On the very next goal line situation, the defensive line was able to stack up the running back on three straight occasions. A fourth down try was unsuccessful when Davis batted the ball down near the goal line.
* Redshirt senior LB E.J. Ejiya (Blaine, Minnesota) made a big tackle for loss on second down, dragging the ball carrier down behind the line for a loss of about five yards.
* Davis and senior nickel Ashton Preston (Edmond, Oklahoma) combined on a sack late in the morning session, while redshirt freshman S Tre Siggers recorded a sack as well after coming through untouched on a blitz.
* Redshirt junior S Taylor Robinson had the hit of the day, laying the big hit on Darden on a catch over the middle of the field.
North Texas will be back in action on Wednesday, March 21 following spring break.